Bok choy is a popular leafy vegetable that is common in Chinese cooking.
If you are a fan of Chinese food, you are likely to have come across this delicious, slightly bitter vegetable before.
As with many leafy vegetables, you might be wondering if you can eat bok choy raw, what it might taste like, and if there are any benefits or downsides to consuming it uncooked.
In this article, we will answer all of these questions.
Can You Eat Bok Choy Raw?
The short answer to this question is, yes, you can.
However, there are a few things that you should consider before diving into a huge plate of raw, shredded bok choy.
Bok choy contains an enzyme called myrosinase.
This is an enzyme that breaks down glucosinolates.
The byproducts that are produced when these are broken down can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb iodine.
Being unable to absorb iodine from your food can affect your thyroid function and leave you with thyroid issues if you consume too much.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some delicious, raw bok choy in moderation and on occasion.
However, your consumption of this superfood in its uncooked form should be limited as much as possible.
Nutritional Value Of Bok Choy
According to the USDA national nutrient database, one cup of raw bok choy is bursting with nutrients for a very small amount of calories.
One cup, or 70 grams, contains only 9 calories.
It also contains 1.05 g of protein, 1.53 g of carbohydrates, and 0.7 g of dietary fiber.
Raw bok choy is also bursting with plenty of vitamins and minerals including 74 mg of calcium, 13 mg of magnesium, 176 mg of potassium, and o.56 mg of iron.
It also contains vitamins K, A, and C as well as folate and zinc.
Health Benefits Of Bok Choy
As with most leafy green vegetables, bok choy is bursting with health benefits that help to support a healthy diet and lifestyle.
In fact, bok choy is so beneficial to our health that it has earned the status of a superfood.
Bok choy is one of many cruciferous vegetables that have been reported to have anti-cancer properties.
There have been scientific studies that show that people who regularly consume cruciferous vegetables, including bok choy, have a reduced risk of developing cancers such as colon, prostate, or lung.
The main component of bok choy that helps to prevent cancer is folate.
This nutrient helps to repair DNA and has the ability to prevent cancer cells from forming due to mutations.
The most important mineral in bok choy is selenium.
This is a mineral that the majority of other fruits and vegetables don’t have.
Selenium is known to detoxify the body of some cancer-causing compounds.
It is also anti-inflammatory and can decrease the growth rate of tumors.
We have already mentioned that bok choy is incredibly high in vitamins and minerals.
However, there are certain vitamins and minerals that have a significant impact on your blood pressure.
In particular, the minerals magnesium, calcium, and potassium that are present in bok choy help to naturally reduce blood pressure.
Regular consumption of bok choy in your diet, along with reduced sodium intake can help to significantly reduce your blood pressure to a healthy level.
Good bone health is important to help prevent injury and to keep your body strong and active.
This is particularly important as you begin to age and your bones naturally weaken.
It is also important for women during pregnancy when bones can be affected.
The iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin K that bok choy contains all contribute to the building and maintaining of bone structure and strength.
It is the iron and zinc content in particular that play a crucial role in producing collagen to help strengthen and protect your bones and joints.
Choline, a compound similar to B vitamins, helps with a plethora of functions that affect our overall health.
It can help aid restful sleep, proper muscle movement, learning, and memory.
It can also help fight chronic inflammation which can have a huge impact on your well-being.
The selenium that we mentioned above can help to boost your immune system.
It does this by producing T-cells when your body has an infection.
These cells are able to identify and kill bacteria and viruses.
Bok choy is also an incredible vegetable for protecting the health of your heart.
The combination of potassium, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6 works perfectly with the lack of cholesterol in the vegetable to improve heart health.
These effects can also be boosted by reducing sodium intake to help further protect your heart from things such as heart disease.
This one might not seem as important as some of the other benefits on this list, but the skin is the largest organ on our body and needs looking after.
The high vitamin C content of bok choy helps to reduce signs of aging on the skin such as fine lines and wrinkles.
It also helps to prevent sun damage and minimize the effects of smoke and pollution on the skin.
Type 2 Diabetes
There are some studies that suggest that bok choy can be beneficial in helping people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels healthy.
Although this hasn’t been scientifically proven, eating a diet that is high in fresh ingredients can be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes.
It is perfectly possible to enjoy bok choy raw in a salad or as a snack.
However, consuming too much can have a detrimental effect on your thyroid.
If you can’t get enough of this incredible superfood, it is best to make sure that it is cooked before you consume it.
- glass jar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 bunches baby bok choy cleaned and sliced
- 1 bunch green onions chopped
- ⅛ cup slivered almonds toasted
- 3 ounce chow mein noodles
- Combine the olive oil, white vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a glass jar with a lid. Close the lid and shake until thoroughly combined.
- In a salad dish, combine the bok choy, green onions, almonds, and chow mein noodles. Mix with dressing before serving.